Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

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A creditor appealed a bankruptcy court’s decision to deny a creditor’s motion to appoint a trustee for the bankruptcy estate to replace the debtor in possession of that estate. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed the bankruptcy court’s ruling. The First Circuit also affirmed, holding (1) the bankruptcy court did not err in determining that appointment of a trustee was not justified under 11 U.S.C. 1104(a)(1); and (2) the bankruptcy court did not err in finding that the appointment of a trustee would not be in the interests of creditors - the standard for appointment of a trustee under 11 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2). View "United Surety & Indemnity Co. v. Lopez-Munoz" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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Debtors filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval of an asset purchase agreement (APA), whereby they agreed to seek substantially all of their assets to Buyer. The bankruptcy court approved the APA through a sale order and confirmed Debtors’ proposed plan of reorganization. Appellants, senior executives of Debtor, were then informed that their employment was terminated the day the sale closed. The bankruptcy court found Buyer liable to Appellants under the APA for their severance pay. The district court vacated the judgment against Buyer, finding that Appellants’ claims against Buyer fell outside the bankruptcy court’s statutorily granted jurisdiction. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction over Appellants’ claims for severance pay from Buyer because the claims were not proceedings which “arise in” the chapter 11 bankruptcy such that they fell within the grant of jurisdiction contained in 28 U.S.C. 1334. View "Quincy Medical Center v. Gupta" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff sued Debtor after Debtor defaulted on a loan. Plaintiff secured a default judgment in the amount of $137,030.78. Without making payment on the judgment, Debtor later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Plaintiff commenced an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court seeking an order declaring the debt non-dischargeable. Specifically, Plaintiff claimed that the debt was within the purview of 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(B), which exempts from discharge certain debts. Debtor answered the complaint and then moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff then moved to amend her complaint to include an alternative claim that the debt was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(A). The bankruptcy court granted Debtor’s motion to dismiss and denied Plaintiff’s motion to amend. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s complaint and refusal to allow Plaintiff to add a section 523(a)(2)(A) claim to her complaint. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the section 523(a)(2)(B) claim was properly dismissed; and (2) an adequate basis existed for the bankruptcy court’s denial of Plaintiff’s motion to amend. View "Privitera v. Curran" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy, Contracts

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This was the First Circuit’s second set of appeals involving the automatic stay provision of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). Here, the parties disputed whether four claims included in Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint were within the scope of PROMESA’s temporary stay. Plaintiffs conceded that the majority of their claims were subject to the stay, but the district court allowed the suit to proceed on the four counts at issue, all of which were purportedly brought under various provisions of PROMESA. On appeal, Appellants challenged this ruling. The First Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that the PROMESA stay did not apply to Plaintiffs’ first, second, third, and twelfth causes of action, as the claims at issue plainly constituted attempts to exercise control over revenues of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. View "Lex Claims, LLC v. Garcia-Padilla" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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In 2005, the Rhode Island Supreme Court found that title to the Regatta Club in Newport and the parcel of land on which it was constructed belonged to a group of condominium associations. Thereafter, the operator of the Regatta Club (Operator) voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Two of the title-holding associations (together, Associations) filed proofs of claim seeking relief for the Operator’s alleged trespass on their property between 1998 and 2005. The First Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court’s finding that the Associations had impliedly consented to the Operator’s use and occupancy of the Regatta Club and remanded on the issue of whether there was an implied obligation that the Operator pay the Associations for its use and occupancy of the Club. On remand, the bankruptcy court found (1) there was no such implied-in-fact contract between the parties, and (2) the Associations were not entitled to relief under a theory of unjust enrichment. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) no implied-in-fact contract existed between the parties; and (2) the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that inequity would not result if the Operator did not pay the Associations for the use and occupancy of the Regatta Club during the claim period. View "Goat Island South Condominium Ass’n v. IDC Clambakes, Inc." on Justia Law

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After Appellants went bankrupt, Appellees foreclosed on their home. Appellants each received an IRS Form 1099-A in the mail at the end of the tax year stating that the foreclosure might have tax consequences. The mortgage debt, however, was discharged during Appellants’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Appellants sued Appellees, claiming that the Forms were a coercive attempt to collect on the mortgage debt, which Appellees had no right to collect. The bankruptcy court found the Forms gave Appellants “no objective basis” to believe Appellees were trying to collect the discharged mortgage debt. The district court affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the evidence in the record showed that the Forms were not objectively coercive. View "Bates v. CitiMortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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The underlying dispute in this case concerned a mortgage purported granted by Andrew and Maureen DeMore to the predecessor in interest to HSBC Bank, USA, N.A. on a parcel of property owned by the DeMores. This appeal came by way of bankruptcy court after each of the DeMores filed separate voluntary petitions for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Donald Lassman, as trustee for the DeMores’ bankruptcy cases, filed adversary actions against HSBC to avoid the mortgage, arguing that the mortgage on the DeMores’ property was voidable under Massachusetts state law because the certificate of acknowledgment was “materially defective.” Specifically, Lassman asserted that the certificate failed to make clear that the DeMores executed the mortgage as their free act and deed. The Bankruptcy Court granted summary judgment to Lassman. The district court reversed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the certificate of acknowledgment was not materially defective because it made clear that the DeMores had executed the mortgage as their free act and deed. View "HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Lassman" on Justia Law

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) terminated its Provider Agreement with Parkview Adventist Medical Center after finding that Parkview was no longer a “hospital” under the Medicare statute. Parkview, which had filed for bankruptcy, attempted to use the Bankruptcy Code to challenge the actions of CMS in terminating the agreement. Parkview filed a motion to compel post-petition performance of executory contracts, arguing that the Provider Agreement was an “executory contract” under 11 U.S.C. 365 and accordingly within the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction and, as such, CMS’s termination of the agreement was a post-petition termination without court authority in violation of the Bankruptcy Code. Further, Parkview argued that CMS’s termination of the Provider Agreement violated the automatic stay in 11 U.S.C. 362(a)(3) and the non-discrimination provision in 11 U.S.C. 525(a). The bankruptcy court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the motion and that CMS had not violated either the automatic stay or the non-discrimination provision. The district court affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the automatic stay did not bar CMS’s termination of the Provider Agreement; and (2) CMS’s termination of the Provider Agreement was not impermissible discrimination. View "Parkview Adventist Medical Center v. United States" on Justia Law

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Appellant, a financially sophisticated individual, petitioned for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy court denied the petition, in part, because Appellant omitted the existence of his Cash Balance Plan (CBP), a retirement account, from his Schedule B filing. When questioned on whether he had a CBP that he failed to list on his Schedule B, Crawford said, “I gave all this information to [my former attorney].” Crawford, however, did disclose the account’s value through inclusion with a second retirement account, a 401(k). The bankruptcy court concluded that Crawford’s failure to include his CBP in his schedule B amounted to a false oath. The District of Massachusetts affirmed the false oath claim. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that, by omitting an account from his Schedule B, Appellant committed a false oath. View "Premier Capital, LLC v. Crawford" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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Patrick Hannon and his wife sought protection from their creditors by filing a voluntary bankruptcy petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Three companies filed an adversary complaint against Hannon in the bankruptcy proceeding objecting to his discharge in bankruptcy. The Companies then moved for partial summary judgment on their claim that Hannon had made a false oath or filed a false account in connection with his bankruptcy proceeding, and therefore, he should be denied a discharge. After a hearing, the bankruptcy judge granted summary judgment in favor of the Companies and refused to grant Hannon a discharge in bankruptcy. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the Companies were entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Hannon made a false statement under oath in the course of his bankruptcy proceeding, Hannon did so knowingly and fraudulently, and the false statement related to a material fact. View "Hannon v. ABCD Holdings, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy